When David Lee Roth Opened a 2020 Vegas Residency

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David Lee Roth opened his 2020 Las Vegas residency on Jan. 8 at the House of Blues Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

Diamond Dave’s 15-song set included such Van Halen favorites as “Dance the Night Away,” “Jamie’s Cryin’,” and “Beautiful Girls,” as well as familiar covers like the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” and “Just a Gigolo.”

The residency was announced on Sept. 9, 2019, thusly: “David Lee Roth: Rocks Vegas will delight fans with an explosive two-guitar sound, bringing his long list of mega familiar hits to life.”

The opening night set began with “You Really Got Me.”

Three songs in…

The longtime VH frontman promised a changing set of 26 instantly recognizable classic rock favorites, including “Jump,” “Panama,” and “California Girls.”

Watch Roth perform “Dance the Night Away”

Related: Our Album Rewind of Van Halen’s debut LP

“A weekend with me,” said Roth, “is interactive way beyond just music. It starts with the best food on earth. The fellas smoke their three cigarettes for the year and we all stay up way past our bedtime!”

The Vegas residency was followed by a brief tour that ended on March 10, 2020. Roth canceled his 2022 shows, billed as a farewell tour, but did return to the stage on March 23, 2023—again at the Mandalay Bay—to perform “Panama” with cover band Royal Machines. He’s since appeared with them several more times.

In 1974, Roth joined brothers Alex Van Halen (on drums) and Eddie Van Halen (on guitar and lead vocals), and Mark Stone (bass guitar) in Southern California in a band called Mammoth, replacing Eddie as the band’s lead singer. The band’s name was ultimately changed to Van Halen and as their local following grew, they began to play higher caliber venues, particularly in Hollywood. Stone departed, making the way for Michael Anthony to replace him on bass.

During their breakout years, and such hit records as “Dance the Night Away,” “Jump,” “Panama,” and their cover of “(Oh) Pretty Woman,” all for Warner Bros. Records, they became one of the biggest rock bands in the world, progressing quickly from opening slots for other bands, to headlining arenas and stadiums.

The two major visuals of the Roth-era Van Halen on stage were the singer’s prominent leg kicks and Eddie Van Halen’s signature guitar playing.

Two of their albums – their 1978 self-titled debut and 1984’s 1984 – have each been certified Diamond by the RIAA, signifying U.S. sales of ten million copies.

After several shows in January 2020, the frontman was scheduled to return to Vegas in March but those shows were canceled due to the pandemic.

Roth was born on October 10, 1954. In 2022, he released a series of Van Halen songs that he recorded live in the studio.

Best Classic Bands Staff

5 Comments so far

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  1. Whoa, What Happened???
    #1 Whoa, What Happened??? 10 January, 2020, 00:35

    I’m a big fan of VH & DLR but the videos I watched were awful. His mic is way too high drowning out the band, he’s out of pitch & not synced with the music. I think it’s time for Diamond Dave to settle into 4 prongs on his ring & call it a great run. RIP Dave….

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  2. Rusty
    #2 Rusty 10 January, 2020, 15:32

    When you have been on top it’s hard to accept the inevitable decline that comes with age and any unfortunate lifestyle choices. Dave is right to perform in Vegas, the final stop for PTP (Past Their Prime) acts as it was for Elvis. Fans go to see them not for what they are now but for what they were when the fans were younger. Nothing wrong with that, the performers have earned their loyal followings, but it’s a bit sad when the present clearly can’t match the past.

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  3. Santa
    #3 Santa 12 January, 2020, 09:10

    David Lee Roth is one of the top Rock Gods ever. Dave has nothing to prove. I go to see Ringo, for what he gave to the music world. People should not talk shit about legends who have paid their dues to the music world. We all have family members who are aging, and were once our Peoples Champs. They all have slowed down, but they are still loved today, as much as yesterday. Show some respect. Most of us are going to see them, and to hear the best they have to offer, on that given day. Can you do what you did when you were 25?…Van Halen doesn’t want David back because of his antics. That’s fine, because they will never be Van Halen without him. C’mon, people are not expecting the early ’60’s or 80’s. People just want the family together. Dammit people, when all else fails, lower your standards, it’s part of life!

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  4. Colorado Slim
    #4 Colorado Slim 11 October, 2020, 17:22

    Well, Vegas ain’t just for has-beens. Check out what Carlos Santana was doing during his “residency” at Mandalay Bay. He’s still ‘the man’ and bringing it hot and hard each night. Gotta say Dave doesn’t sound too good here but you gotta remember that the sound in the HOB (good sounding venue) may have been quite different. Trying to be charitable here….

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  5. Jmack
    #5 Jmack 12 October, 2023, 23:49

    Wow god awful… i’ll cut him some slack because he’s 69 now these are terrible performances he’s just awful. I’ll stick with his good old days music from the 70s and 80s cause this is just plain embarrassing

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